Published on August 14, 2018, at 8:13 a.m.
by Allie Binford.
If the name last name Sprouse sounds familiar, you likely know it from the opening credits of the classic Disney Channel show “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.” Some other notable credit appearances include Ross’ son Ben on “Friends” and Julian opposite Adam Sandler in “Big Daddy.” More recently, the Sprouse name has been added to the cast of the CW’s “Riverdale.”
If you aren’t familiar with the Sprouse name, it usually follows the first names Dylan and Cole. As identical twins growing up in the acting business, they had the unique ability to share a single role.
Although as children the two were marketed as a duo, the twins have since made a living in the entertainment business as solo artists. Just as with any set of identical twins, there is always something that can set the two apart. With the Sprouse twins, I’ve noticed it in their personal brands.
As with any good millennial, both Sprouse twins have taken to social media to share thoughts, opinions, photographs and other pieces of their lives. The brothers use their social media platforms to promote their individual projects and interact with each other, but what they do differently has a lot to teach us as brand curators.
With 14.7 million followers on Instagram and 8.4 million followers on Twitter, Cole is the twin with the bigger following. The content on his main Instagram account, @colesprouse, is photography-focused. Outside of his acting career, he photographs models and celebrities for various publications and brands. He shares these images on @colesprouse, giving fans a glimpse into what it’s like when he’s behind the camera, rather than in front of it. Cole also shares images of his fellow Riverdale castmates and images from photoshoots he has modeled for.
On his second Instagram account, @camera_duels, Cole captures fans and other passers-by in the act of photographing him in public. It is aunique, humorous peek into a part of his daily life.
Cole’s Instagram presence, whether on his main account or @camera_duels, proves one major point — giving your audience an authentic inside look into your brand or persona can really pay off. Since Cole is usually set in front of the camera, his Instagram accounts allow his fans to feel as if they have access to the real Cole, offscreen.
As PR practitioners, we can take this advice in terms of creating content. Finding a way to make your brand relatable and down-to-earth to your target audience is essential. Whether that’s through featuring real stories of people in your organization or featuring consumer content, making your brand feel authentic to its audience can foster more engagement.
Twitter, however, is where Sprouse really showcases his wit and political thoughts. Cole uses the text-centric medium to educate his followers on topics important to him, like net neutrality. Cole uses Twitter like most people do, tweeting out commentary on daily life and current events.
When creating a brand’s Twitter, most companies or organizations use the medium as a space for news and customer service. Cole’s Twitter serves as a reminder that even though Twitter can be used to disperse more serious or important information, accounts need a consistent voice.
Dylan Sprouse has 4.3 million followers on Instagram and 4.5 million followers on Twitter. Dylan has a different approach to Instagram, leaving eight photos constant on his feed, and only uploading one image at a time, deleting the ninth image before posting a new one. His bio previously stated “all photos are temporary.”
Dylan uses Instagram story updates to tell his followers about his upcoming projects and travels. Most recently, Dylan posted about the release of his newest endeavor, All-Wise Meadery. Dylan also runs an Instagram account for his dog Magnus, @magnusthedwarf, which he updates more regularly and playfully.
While Dylan’s approach to Instagram is different from most, some brands could benefit from taking a page out of his book. Keeping separate accounts for work and play can help ensure that important information about the brand is easily accessible and not lost in a mix of different posts and personas.
Even designating different social media platforms with certain levels of sophistication can help create an online brand that is seamless and easy to navigate. Take Wendy’s, for example: The brand’s Twitter account is infamous for its snarky comebacks and commentary, while its Instagram is a feed of its own advertisements, minus the sarcasm. Both accounts serve the same brand, but Twitter is where Wendy’s shows a bit of personality, while Instagram is where it focuses its marketing efforts.
In the end, both of the Sprouse twins have interesting and engaging online brands. While their follower counts may differ, both of their internet presences have merit to the world of public relations.